“It’s farcical in nature, it’s dramatic, it’s funny in nature,” said “The Metromaniacs” actor and junior Wilson Hines.
The Keene State Theater and Dance Department showcased the play “The Metromaniacs” from Nov. 15 to 18 in the Redfern Arts Center Main Theater.
“The Metromaniacs,” written by David Ives, tells the story of Damis (played by senior Ty Nash), an aspiring poet who falls in love with his favorite poet. Unknown to Damis, this poet is actually another older man writing with a pen name, Francalou (played by junior Abigail McBride).
This situation leads to a chain reaction of mistaken identities and confusion, resulting in shenanigans. The show is set in the 18th century but uses both modern and classical slang to deliver its humor.
“We’re getting so many lovely compliments from people who are saying [the show] wasn’t what they expected, that it was even better, that they were really enthused and refueled by the humor,” said Director Tyler Keyes. “I think, mostly, people are feeling wonderfully surprised by how modern and exciting and enjoyable the whole production is.”
The thought process for “The Metromaniacs” began last spring, when Keyes met with costume designer and junior Chloe Roy and scenic designer Celine Perron to begin constructing the world of the show.
“I gave them ideas and visions that I had for the show. They gave me theirs, and we got to mind meld and start creating,” Keyes said.
Keyes hopes audiences took away, “A new sense for what theater can be. Some people have an idea that theater can be boring, or that it’s only musicals or that you only see the same shows over and over again. I want them to see that there’s brand new theater to be made.”
Hines was also happy with the audience’s reactions to the show.
“The intended reaction is to make people laugh, and I think we accomplished that goal, at least I hope so,” he said.
Hines played Dorante, the friend (and sometimes rival) of Damis, and said he enjoyed playing his character because he felt so similar to him.
“Dorante really isn’t his own person, he just takes from other people, he gets the energy of other people and reacts to that and plays off of that. I think that’s my favorite thing [about the part], being a chameleon, because I can relate to that,” Hines said.
Hines said he hoped the audience found themselves in the characters they saw onstage and left “The Metromaniacs” feeling like they learned something.
“I hope people can take parts of the personalities of characters away. I hope that audiences take away [the fact that] there are layers to people,” Hines said.
Junior Julia Stearns was a member of the tech crew and ran the soundboard. Stearns said she enjoyed working on “The Metromaniacs.”
“It’s really nice to work with friends and be in a nice, comfortable environment where you’re around the people that you love… It’s been very welcoming, very fun,” she said.
Emily Sloane can be contacted at